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  1. #16
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HypnoHustler View Post
    This run did have one great issue though and that was ASM#425 with Spidey and X-Man taking down Electro
    This might be controversial, but I really liked Electro making Spidey beg for his life.

    Peter will put his life on the life for anyone but he doesn't actually want to die. Quite the opposite, in fact. Having a super-charged Electro bring Peter so low, without it being a huge spiralling sadness thing and without making Peter look like a loser, reminds the audience just how dangerous Spidey's rogues gallery truly can be.

    Electro had one good day and got a win. That's a good thing once in a while.
    "Has Sariel summoned you here, Azrael? Have you come to witness the miracle of your brethren arriving on Earth?"

    "I WILL MIX THE ASHES OF YOUR BONES WITH SALT AND USE THEM TO ENSURE THE EARTH THE TEMPLARS TILLED NEVER BEARS FRUIT AGAIN!"

    "*sigh* I hoped it was for the miracle."

    Dan Watters' Azrael was incredible, a constant delight and perhaps too good for this world (but not the Forth). For the love of St. Dumas, DC, give us more!!!

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    This might be controversial, but I really liked Electro making Spidey beg for his life.

    Peter will put his life on the life for anyone but he doesn't actually want to die. Quite the opposite, in fact. Having a super-charged Electro bring Peter so low, without it being a huge spiralling sadness thing and without making Peter look like a loser, reminds the audience just how dangerous Spidey's rogues gallery truly can be.

    Electro had one good day and got a win. That's a good thing once in a while.
    Good point and I totally agree. Yeah, the Electro arc was the highlight of this otherwise so-so run, and is probably the best or second best Electro storyline there is (‘Light the Night’ is also good).

  3. #18
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Time for my much-promised reviews.

    This is a weird jump-on point for the Spider-Man comics, since the creative teams mostly stayed the same, even though the book switched leads at the end of the Clone Saga, with Norman Osborn returning from the dead, killing Ben Reilly and arranging for Mary Jane while she was giving birth, seemingly resulting in a stillbirth.

    The first month is mostly standalone issues, even if each sets up later threads. Itís not a bad idea.



    Spectacular Spider-Man #241
    JM Dematteis and Luke Ross provide the first issue of this intermediate era, with Peter and Mary Jane dealing with their loss. DeMatteis is the one new writer, which may be why this story just feels so accessible. I get the impression that this, rather than Amazing Spider-Man, is the main title. Itís probably the best, and it will later feature major developments like the return of Norman Osborn as a recurring character. Itís the one with spotlights on major supporting characters like Flash and Jonah. Iíll be curious if I still feel that way as I read the rest of the era/
    Thereís a theme of the bright side of what happened in Revelations, with Peter getting his identity back and Mary Jane accepting her loss but also being happy to have known her child. The joy, even with the loss, is essential to the characters, and to the readers as well.


    DeMatteis lays the narration on thick, and it is a bit distracting. It might just be that for the last few years Iíve mainly read 21st Century widescreen/ cinematic style comics which eschew the third person narrator, so Iíll admit itís more of a me thing, than a fault of the comic.
    Dr Kafka, from DeMatteisí earlier Spectacular Spider-Man run, works with the Chameleon, and heís kinda pathetic here, although in a psychologically rich way. This issue can be seen as the beginning of a five parter, and I remember it being of my favorite of this period. In that way itís a bit similar to the first issue of the Nick Spencer/ Ryan Ottley/ Humberto Ramos run, which also was a standalone that could be Part 1 of 5. Kafka is depicted as much more attractive than in the earlier run, and makes a staggeringly unprofessional decision at the end, although itís not like her creator DeMatteis is going to argue with writer DeMatteis.
    Thereís a sense of maturity to Peter Parker, and how he deals with the loss, and an unconventional encounter he has with Jonah. There are some silent sequences, which clash a bit with the narration, but itís really sweet to see Spider-Man take his wife on a swing.
    This is an important comic book for me personally since it was one of the first runs that I collected as it was coming out, and managed to read its entirety.
    A

    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  4. #19
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Amazing Spider-Man #419
    Tom DeFalco and Steve Skroce set up a crime saga, as Peter & Ben Urich investigate a new crime figure called the Black Tarantula. Ben quickly becomes a target of his goons, pitting Spider-Man against his enforcers.
    I didnít read much of the series at the time. I didnít appreciate Skroceís art. It seemed weird to me, although I can appreciate the sense of energy now. I donít really get the sense tha this is the main title, although it is arguably the most standalone.
    The crime saga is a bit generic. A new crime figure moves in, with their enforcers. Itís been done better before, and in the past. That said, I do like the idea of a super-strong woman, so Black Delilah has that going for her, as well as the weird lettering whenever she speaks.
    Thereís a fun scene where Spider-Man interrupts crooks discussing how they plan to mug Ben Urich, and heís got a good quip about how MJís crush on George Clooney ended when he was announced as the new Batman.
    I do also like the dynamic between Ben Urich and Peter, with the veteran reporter and hotshot photographer.
    B



    Sensational Spider-Man #12
    The Trapster decides to make a name for himself after years of disrespect for the supervillain formerly known as Paste Pot Pete. However, he accidentally ends up framing Spider-Man setting up a conflict.
    I do like his sensibility here. They play it just right. Heís dangerous but not respected.
    Unfortunately, Mike Wieringoís not available this issue (probably because he was working on a three-parter) and guest artist Josh Hood is just not on that level. He has a heightened style thatís fine, and works okay with the late 90s pre-digital colors.
    The story does have a decent death-trap for Spidey. That is a pretty good set piece. Jonah does what he always does when Spider-Man is accused of a crime, but it does lead to a solid set-up to the Savage Land adventure.
    B+



    Peter Parker Spider-Man #76
    The opening features John Romita Jr playing with a different style for flashbacks. That does work okay.
    A reference to the ass-kicking from the Trapster leads to a sense that the other titles matter (and the Trapster issue referenced Spectacular 241- Amazing Spider-Man is the omission here, so in one sense it's a book you can follow without caring about other titles; but it also doesn't feel all that important.)
    This is a story weíve seen before with Peter Parker going to college, and Spider-Man saving the day when supervillains attack during a scientific experiment. There is a different sense that Spider-Man is caught in someone elseís story, when new villain Crown has an obvious history with new superhero Shoc. A problem is that Crown and Shoc seem generic, and at this point there are hints to a mystery that seems obvious- The story opens with the murder of a father, and Crown is surprised that heís attacked by Shoc, an old enemy he believed dead. Gee, could it be that the opening featured the murder of the original Shoc and the admittedly experienced new superhero is the scientistís missing son.
    The story does introduce some new supporting characters, with Peter alienating a student he was supposed to tutor (while protecting him from danger as Spider-Man) and then meeting Gwen Stacyís cousin. Thatís a dynamic that was dismissed by some critics, although it does pay off of the introduction of her uncle back in Amazing Spider-Man #95, so Iím fine with it.
    B
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  5. #20
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Itís a bit odd to figure out the next story in order.
    Spectacular Spider-Man #242 is the next issue published, but it kicks off a four-parter and itís set in winter, whereas Amazing Spider-Man #420 is set just before Christmas. That features a team-up with X-Man (the alternate version of Cable post Age of Apocalypse) which leads to X-Man #24, which has an encounter with Morbius that leads to Peter Parker Spider-Man #77.
    The earlier stories all happened in quick succession about a month after Revelations, which was clearly set in Halloween.
    Sensational Spider-Man is the most nebulous in terms of time, but it does follow quite quickly from the previous issue, so Iíll go with that story first.



    Sensational Spider-Man #13-15
    Peter Parker is sent to the Savage Land because it has suddenly become newsworthy due to global warming, and heís a photographer with experience there. He discovers that Roxxon, Marvelís #1 evil corporation, is up to shenanigans. This gives an excuse for Spider-Man to team up with Kazar and Shanna, and for Mike Wieringo to draw all sorts of monsters. The story also involves the Hulk, who was in the area during Peter Davidís run in the Heroes Reborn era, Chtylok- a protective bird god who is admittedly a bit ridiculous, and Stegron, who was frozen in the area in another title.

    One of my pet peeves in comics is when heroes stumble onto an adventure just in pure coincidence, but this isnít that. Thereís a logic to everything, building on events from other books. A scientist at Roxxon has a plan involving accelerating the effects of global warming. Peter is sent to the Savage Land by the Daily Bugle because had experience there. A protective god is awakened, because of the bad stuff happening in his region. An effort to accelerate global warming awakens Stegron, frozen in a previous story, and he investigates the people responsible before attacking.

    Roxxonís plot is cartoonishly evil, but there are people who would do this kind of stuff in the real world. Kazar and Shanna have a decent sensibility that works in this story. I like Stegron as a dinosaur supremacist environmentalist. Thereís a nice moment that alludes to Peterís loss when he realizes what a Savage Land woman was concerned about when she referred to her baby. Just in terms of the art, this may be the highlight of Mike Wieringoís work on Spider-Man, even if this isnít all that important in terms of plot.
    B+
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  6. #21
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    I get the impression that this, rather than Amazing Spider-Man, is the main title. It’s probably the best, and it will later feature major developments like the return of Norman Osborn as a recurring character. It’s the one with spotlights on major supporting characters like Flash and Jonah. I’ll be curious if I still feel that way as I read the rest of the era.
    I certainly felt that all three long running titles (Amazing, Spec and PPSM) were equally important. Spec was my favourite, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    This is an important comic book for me personally since it was one of the first runs that I collected as it was coming out, and managed to read its entirety.
    Same! The new issue on the shelf was the Spec with Peter in a straightjacket on the cover, but the shop owner picked out the previous issue(s) so I didn't jump in part way.

    On Sensational Spider-Man, I never got on with that book. I think it was too Silver Age-y for me at the time. I have the collection, so will get around to fi==giving it another chance at some point.

    I really hope you're going to cover Hobgoblin Lives in this. Not only is it a very important book for the era, it is my favourite Spider-Man miniseries (in fact, one of my favourite miniseries period).

    Also, how about Untold Tales? Busiek really nailed that book.
    Last edited by exile001; 08-31-2023 at 05:34 AM.
    "Has Sariel summoned you here, Azrael? Have you come to witness the miracle of your brethren arriving on Earth?"

    "I WILL MIX THE ASHES OF YOUR BONES WITH SALT AND USE THEM TO ENSURE THE EARTH THE TEMPLARS TILLED NEVER BEARS FRUIT AGAIN!"

    "*sigh* I hoped it was for the miracle."

    Dan Watters' Azrael was incredible, a constant delight and perhaps too good for this world (but not the Forth). For the love of St. Dumas, DC, give us more!!!

  7. #22
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    After the clone mess probably anything would have felt like an improvement. So, yeah, I enjoyed this at the time. Remember thinking Black Tarantula was an interesting new enemy when he was first introduced. All in all though this run just feels like big "meh" in hindsight. Like most eras since the 90's. Nothing really memorable about it

  8. #23
    Mighty Member Alex_Of_X's Avatar
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    Yesss, so glad you're doing this, Mets. Thought you're gonna bail and do avengers instead

    That Luke Ross art on Spec 241...man's come a long way, is all I'll say

  9. #24
    Mighty Member Malachi's Avatar
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    Some really solid stuff here. X-man and Spider-man is an combination that comes out of the left field but it works. Nate giving Peter a dream where he gets to say goodbye to aunt May is sweet. One of my favorite artists ever Steve Skroce on art is also a real highlight.

    Black Tarantula was a character who sort of never got the big story he needed and seemed to thrive on. Deliah was cool.

    Shoc was also great in buildup but then petered out. I think I read on wiki some years ago that he came back as a vampire called hunger, what a miss.

    JMD still great. MJ with the baseball bat against Chameleon is a highlight not only for the 90's but all time.

    After this I took my first break in comics and didn't get back until JMS.

  10. #25
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Of_X View Post
    Yesss, so glad you're doing this, Mets. Thought you're gonna bail and do avengers instead

    That Luke Ross art on Spec 241...man's come a long way, is all I'll say
    I'm doing both.

    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    I certainly felt that all three long running titles (Amazing, Spec and PPSM) were equally important. Spec was my favourite, though.



    Same! The new issue on the shelf was the Spec with Peter in a straightjacket on the cover, but the shop owner picked out the previous issue(s) so I didn't jump in part way.

    On Sensational Spider-Man, I never got on with that book. I think it was too Silver Age-y for me at the time. I have the collection, so will get around to fi==giving it another chance at some point.

    I really hope you're going to cover Hobgoblin Lives in this. Not only is it a very important book for the era, it is my favourite Spider-Man miniseries (in fact, one of my favourite miniseries period).

    Also, how about Untold Tales? Busiek really nailed that book.
    I really like Untold Tales. The best of it probably trumps the best of this period. It doesn't really touch on the main comics, aside from one annual.

    I'm also doing a reread of the Heroes Return era of the Avengers titles, and that's going to include over a hundred issues written or co-written by Kurt Busiek (56 issues of Avengers, 12 issues of Avengers Forever, 25 issues of Iron Man, 33 issues of Thunderbolts, assorted specials) and that's enough for the moment.

    https://community.cbr.com/showthread...f-the-Avengers

    I'll certainly cover Hobgoblin Lives.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  11. #26
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    And now for the Nate Grey/ Nate Summers/ Morbius stuff



    Amazing Spider-Man #420
    Peter is low on cash around Christmas time and sent by the Daily Bugle to cover a new prophet, who ends up being X-Man, a younger alternate universe version of Cable. And in a proxy fight between crime bosses Rose and Black Tarantula, Black Delilah (agent of the Rose) attacks El Uno (agent of Black Tarantula.)
    It’s fine. It’s interesting to develop this connection between Spider-Man and a relatively obscure new superhero. This is a story that eschews the usual cliches, as they decide not to fight, and Peter invites his new friend over for a home-cooked meal. He gets a worthwhile gift, and there is a decent twist involving the fate of a C-list bad guy.
    B

    This leads to an immediate follow-up by Terry Kavanugh and Roger Cruz, If I’m not mistaken, Morbius is a part of the next four issues and also plays into a Mackie/ Romita Jr two-parter in the relaunch, so this is somewhat relevant to the larger mythos.



    X-Man #24
    It would be fair to say that Terry Kavanaugh did not have a good reputation as a Spider-Man writer, responsible for the Facade mess and some of the worse chapters of the clone saga. It’s an odd choice to have him write an important guest appearance, especially setting up Morbius’ role in Peter Parker Spider-man.
    Roger Cruz has an exaggerated manga-style sensibility, which made sense at a time when Joe Madureira was an immensely popular X-Men artist, although he’s not on that level. Especially in the first section, this reads more like a Spider-Man comic than an issue of X-Man, with sequences familiar to Spider-Man fans (Peter, MJ and Aunt Anna having a post-trauma Chrisrtmas in Forest Hills) before they learn of how a mutant is targeted by Morbius.
    The issue sets up both a story in Peter Parker Spider-Man, and the 25th issue of X-Man, but while it’s not bad, it’s not worth rereading.
    C



    Peter Parker Spider-Man #77-78
    Part 1 has Claudio Castilini and Cam Smith fill in for John Romita Jr. The day after Christmas setting, and Spidey's search for Morbius ties it to previous adventures.
    So Peter’s main plot is that Mary Jane’s new friend Jill Stacy (cousin of Gwen) and her father want to talk to him about some of the biggest tragedies in his life, and he’d rather not dreg that up. Morbius has an increased bloodlust after the X-man team-up. After a fight with Morbius, Peter faints during what should be a normal dinner with Gwen Stacy’s relatives.
    Part 2 brings John Romita Jr back in art, and it is an immense improvement in terms of mood and storytelling. Problems I had with the story, especially with whether Morbius should conclude his continued survival is worth the cost to others, are addressed, and there’s a decent scene where MJ confronts him. But it all does come across as incoherent, even if I like how Romita Jr depicts MJ at her most protective.
    C+
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  12. #27
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    During this time, Marvel had two quarterly Spider-Man series which were double-sized Spider-Man Unlimited and Spider-Man Team-Up. I’ll cover these, although an immediate problem is that these made annuals completely redudant. If you had 8 double-sized issues amonth of two quarterly books, the annuals meant you could have double-sized comics evet month, but it was cleartly not the important stuff.



    Spider-Man Unlimited #15
    As this story is set between Christmas and New Years, it fits after the Morbius saga. Tom Defalco and Joe Bennett tell a story about Puma, which seems a good fit as DeFalco cocreated Puma in the first place and Benett has had a respectable career as artist in later years. The combination of Bennet’s art and the late 90s coloring is below average for the era. Romita Jr, Skroce, Luke Ross and Wieringo have better results. Bennet gets better pretty quickly, as evident by his Amazing Spider-Man work.
    The set-up is okay with Peter trying to go out as Spider-Man during the Holidays when no one else is interested, Doctor Strange dealing with his own mess and Puma trying to fast when his uncle shows up with snacks and beer (although it is poor storytelling with some panels in an order that’s weird to read.) The uncle’s joke about recording Babylon 5 is ironic with creator JMS a few years away from an impressive run on Amazing Spider-Man. It does make sense to address Puma’s post-Secret Wars 2 funk, and this is a way of Defalco following up on a 1980s plot thread.
    The story really gets going when Thomas Fireheart and Peter Parker chat. Two details work- Peter agrees to help his former enemy when he realizes the guy’s uncle is in danger, and there’s a polite conversation about a condolence card after Aunt May’s death. I wonder if there’s an intentional choice to focus on villains like Puma, Morbius, Electro and Chameleon who weren’t major players in the clone saga.
    Spider-Man and Fireheart (who stopped being Puma, which is a decent complication) team up against a reptilian villain Raptar who seems to be a Lizard knock-off. I’m not a fan of that development. There is a new dynamic with Doctor Strange trying to help, and realizing Spidey’s out of his league facing a mystic foe, while Spider-Man thinks it’s all an illusion.
    If the art were a bit more polished, it would be a solid comic.
    B-
    I’ll give credit for these issues for taking advantage of the setting. So many comics are evergreen, where it doesn’t matter what month it’s set, which is kind of inevitable with the sliding timescale.



    Amazing Spider-Man #421
    There are two stories here, which is surprisingly normal for the period.
    A new assassin is introduced in the main piece by DeFalco and Skroce. There are some decent ninja fight scenes, although a bit of an absurd coincidence with Peter knowing someone with a personal connection to this particular bad guy.
    The back-up by DeFalco and Isherwood has Peter and MJ’s first day back at grad school, while various forces move to a gang war. There is some decent Parker luck stuff here.
    B
    Last edited by Mister Mets; 09-02-2023 at 02:08 PM.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  13. #28
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Spider-Man Team-Up #6
    In the first story by Larry Hama and artist Dietrich Smith, Spider-Man and the Hulk get into a fight with a Doombot. The story is slight, taking advantage of the effects of Onslaught on Marvel superheroes. Iím not familiar with Dietrich Smith. He has an unusual style for a mainstream superhero comic. Some pages kinda come across like efforts to copy Image Comics, but other times thereís a sense of dynamism and energy. Itís weird and different enough that this comic is worth checking out for the art.
    The second story has Marv Wolfman work on a plot by JM DeMatteis, while Tom Palmer finishes Bob Mcleodís breakdowns. There are many creators but the results are coherent enough. It kicks off okay with Peter and Ben arriving to a crime scene, horrified at the bloody results. Dr Strange joins, realizing itís all the work of Dracula.

    This seems pretty similar to Wolfmanís Dracula run in the 70s, and it works. Spider-Manís out of his element, so thatís interesting to observe. And there is a decent twist involving the woman in Draculaís life. This story also sells the idea of Dracula as a force within the Marvel Universe..
    B+

    I covered the next issue in a re-read of the Heroes Return era Avengers, since that connects to Busiek's Thunderbolts.



    Spider-Man Team Up #7
    This works in the context of what Spider-Manís going through between the clone saga and the Volume 2 relaunch (a period I'm covering in a thread in the spider-boards), and the continued arc of the Thunderbolts. Spider-Man is once again accused of a crime, and the Thunderbolts are sent to take him down, a welcome opportunity that means the villains pretending to be superheroes might just be able to murder an A-lister. I hadnít realized before that the Thunderbolts likely had a big influence on Dan Slottís Superior Spider-Man, which is one of my favorite comic book stories in the last twelve years.
    As far as Spideyís concerned, this is a standard team-up with new superheroes, even if he doesnít realize the likelihood heíll be betrayed. With the Thunderbolts, this gives some focus on MACH-1, since he used to fight Spider-Man before. And he does have a legitimately interesting character arc, eager for a chance to destroy someone he keeps sending him to jail, until something happens to change everything. Sal Buscema is solid on art. A highlight is MJ's blase reaction to peter getting framed again.
    According to one review, this is Sal Buscema's last Spider-Man story as primary interior artist. If so, it's a decent send-off as he's got a lot of superheroes to draw, and handles it well.
    B+
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  14. #29
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Amazing Spider-Man #422-423
    Joe Bennet becomes the official artist for Amazing Spider-Man with this story, and his work is a step up from his Spider-Man Unlimited annual.
    Itís clearly a two part story with development in the crime war, and a decent subplot for Robbie Robertson as his efforts to be a good journalist get him in hot water with his wife, who thinks that Jonah is taking advantage of him. In the first part, Electro decides to go for an upgrade after the events of his last appearance in Light the Night, and I do like how the story builds on that development. He remembers his origin which is fine, but it reminds me a lot about DeFalcoís take on Dr Octopusí origin in Spider-Man Unlimited #3 right down to the abusive father, and sensitive mother.

    The showdown with Spider-Man is compelling, especially with what Electro wants from everything. Itís a great sequence when he just wants Spider-Man to humble himself and beg. Peter Parker has some decent developments when he gets told off in grad school; Paul Stacy makes sense as a grad school version of Flash Thompson, both in terms of his status as a douchebag and the painful history. There is an absurd coincidence with Spider-Man happening to save Robbie Robertsonís life, and that stuff really bothers me. But the storytelling is good, and it is often really compelling. It may just be the highlight of this stretch of DeFalcoís run (even if his best Spider-Man work at the time is probably What If? #105)
    A-



    Peter Parker Spider-Man #79-80
    If you look at my reviews, Iím a generous grader, so this might be out of place. I just did not like this story. Various plot threads intersect as Morbius finds himself captured by Hydra, who seem to be working with new villain Crown. SHOCís identity is revealed, and Peter Parkerís kidnapped due to his proximity to SHOC.
    The art is by John Romita Jr, who is always consistent and interesting. Heís got some good sequences like when Spidey suddenly suffers vertigo, part of an ongoing story at the time.
    One other thing that rubs me the wrong way is that the ongoing crime saga here, with Fortuano getting involved with Hydra, seems completely different from the ongoing crime saga in Amazing Spider-Man, where youíve got different forces at war. It also prevents me from caring at all about whatís going on here, even when figures I know like Hammerhead pop up. It seems like this was built up in earlier issues of the Ben Reilly run, so thereís some context I forgot about since I havenít read those issues in well over a decade.
    Peter just stumbling into life and death situations is a major pet peeve of mine in the Spider-Man comics, and we see it again here. And the final battle royale is pretty close to an incoherent mess. This is an exhibit about Mackieís shortcomings as a comics writer.
    D+
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  15. #30
    Wig Over The Hoodie Style IamnotJudasTraveller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Amazing Spider-Man #422-423 It seems like this was built up in earlier issues of the Ben Reilly run, so there’s some context I forgot about since I haven’t read those issues in well over a decade.
    Peter just stumbling into life and death situations is a major pet peeve of mine in the Spider-Man comics, and we see it again here. And the final battle royale is pretty close to an incoherent mess. This is an exhibit about Mackie’s shortcomings as a comics writer.
    D+
    The only context you need is that as New York was Kingpin-less for a good while, Fortunato was the best-placed man to replace him, which half explains his top-dog behavior Mackie's books depicted. And his son isn't fond of his Hydra alliance and that's why he was always more of a rogue who helped the good guys now and then.

    Regardless, at the time I remember also not caring for this storyline at all and I agree with your grading. The story just seemed all over the place, juggling too many threads at once. It also kind of solidified Mackie's bad guy speak to me, where they try to sound tough but they just sound callous, uncaring and uninterested, ranging from Hammerhead's threats to Peter to Crown's impotent rambling about killing everyone in the building.
    Discovering/CONFESSING! the nature of evil... one retcon at a time.

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